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Old May 31, 2012, 10:26 PM   #1
smokefx
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failing background check when buying

hi im in california, and i purchased a handgun a week ago, so i guess i failed the background check... and i'm being told they are not refunding me my money for the gun because i paid up front is this legal? i understand they can keep the money for the test/background check stuff but can they keep my money for my handgun? i paid in cash and i think this place is doing some kind of shady business to me and i need some answers so if i need to i can take legal action, thanks in advanced everyone
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Old May 31, 2012, 11:21 PM   #2
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Small claims court.
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Old May 31, 2012, 11:25 PM   #3
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Do you have a receipt?
If you dont have a recipt you may want to get them in writing saying they will not refund you $xx.yy, this will help in establishing that they are acknowledging that you paid them.
Ask them where it says that they can keep your money in this type of situation.
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Old May 31, 2012, 11:30 PM   #4
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Tell us the place so we can stay away or give advise if Ppl have had prior dealings with them. Thx

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Old June 1, 2012, 12:01 AM   #5
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Many stores will charge a up to a fairly hefty "restocking" fee. But the terms of sale should have been posted in the store or stated on the receipt. If the store won't work with you, your recourse is small claims court.

Do you know why you were denied? Was the DOJ correct. Sometimes, if you have a name that is similar to someone who is prohibited, you will be mistaken for him and denied. If that's the case with you, it might be in your best interest to appeal and get things straightened out.
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Old June 1, 2012, 12:26 AM   #6
Dragline45
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I have seen $100 restocking fee's but they have no right to keep your money. Go in personally and threaten to bring them to small claims court, if that doesn't work tell them you are devoting the next year to bad mouthing their store in every way possible.
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Old June 1, 2012, 01:01 AM   #7
smokefx
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thanks for all the replies guys, yeah i have the recipt and i'm going to be seeing them tomorrow because i was just on the phone with them, and if they refuse to return my money i will take them to small claims
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Old June 1, 2012, 01:20 AM   #8
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Did you sign a purchase contract? The place I buy my guns charges a 20% restocking fee. That should more than cover their costs as they still have the gun. Poor business if they try to keep all of your $$$
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Old June 1, 2012, 01:49 AM   #9
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I will assume that you are new to guns and they may know this. What they are doing is unethical. Go in there with CONFIDENCE that this is unacceptable and you will seek legal recourse.

Good luck
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Old June 1, 2012, 07:33 AM   #10
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How do you know you failed the background check? Are you sure this business even did one? Perhaps they are lying to you and are just straight ripping you off.

If you failed the background check when you shouldn't have, there is an appeals process to get it straightened out. After doing so, you should then be able to get the gun you paid for.

If, on the other hand, there was a reason to deny your purchase (i.e. felony or domestic violence conviction, dishonorable discharge) and you were not honest when you filled out the federal form to buy the gun, you may want to rethink presenting those facts to a court of law.
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Old June 1, 2012, 08:17 AM   #11
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They can charge you a restocking fee.....but can't keep your whole amount.
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Old June 1, 2012, 10:13 AM   #12
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If you have the receipt as genuine proof that you've paid cash for the gun and they refuse to reimburse your money this is step one of filing a small claims against the business or owner in the state of California.

You need to send them a "demand letter." There are links on the internet which will assist you in writing one since there are several types. A copy of this document will have to be filed with any documents you submit to small claims court.
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Old June 1, 2012, 10:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Go in personally and threaten to bring them to small claims court, if that doesn't work tell them you are devoting the next year to bad mouthing their store in every way possible.
In most cases, threatening legal action is a bad idea. It shuts down any further dialogue, and most businesses know it to be a bluff. If you are going to pursue legal action, don't mention it to them. Let them find out when they get the summons.

As far as word-of-mouth...some stores take it very seriously, while others disregard it completely. A store that's going to rip people off is probably going to fall in the latter group.

I'd take it to the local magistrate court.
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Old June 1, 2012, 06:07 PM   #14
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How can an FFL sell you a firearm before you've passed a background check?
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Old June 1, 2012, 06:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by DasGuy
How can an FFL sell you a firearm before you've passed a background check?
We don't call in the background check until the firearm is paid in full.
We charge $25 for any incomplete firearms transaction.
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Old June 1, 2012, 10:35 PM   #16
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Can you find out why you didn't pass?
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Old June 3, 2012, 08:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
We don't call in the background check until the firearm is paid in full
I've never understood this practice, Why sell a firearm until you know the person is legit ?
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Old June 3, 2012, 09:19 AM   #18
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I've never understood this practice, Why sell a firearm until you know the person is legit ?
I've known a couple of shops to do this. People will use the shop as a free backbround-check service. They'll take up a great deal of the shop's time, then walk out if they get delayed or denied.

In that case, the proprietor can issue a refund if the purchase isn't completed, but retain a fee for his time and efforts.
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Old June 3, 2012, 09:20 AM   #19
Bartholomew Roberts
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You haven't mentioned why you got denied but if you did not truthfully fill out the Form 4473, that is a federal crime, in addition to any possible violations of California state law. I would make sure I was not guilty of any criminal offenses before I pursued action in civil court.
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Old June 3, 2012, 01:51 PM   #20
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First of all, begin the legal challenge about your denial. No matter what, you will need to get that straightened out.

The cannot legally keep the entire price of the gun. They can charge a rediculous "restocking fee" but they can't keep all your money, if you don't get the gun. The line about "they can keep it because you paid cash" is pure BS!

Some places will "sell" guns before the background check is done, because the law allows it. Delivery (not purchase) is what is being denied with the failed check. Its not ethical, but it seems to be legal. That's why they can charge a restocking feel, because you "bought" the gun. Its a trap, but under current law, there doesn't seem to be anything that can be done about it.

Keeping all the money you paid is bogus. Clearly they are hoping you will just eat your loss and go away.

Don't.

There is a legal method for finding out why you were denied. ITs a hassle, takes time, is frustrating, and might even cost a bit, but DO IT! For one thing, if you want to buy a gun from another store (and I don't think I would do any more business with the one who is trying to rip you off), you will need to pass the background check. So get it cleared up. IT might be a clerical error. IT might be something you don't remember (or aren't aware of) that is snagging you. Also, find out if you whether you are DELAYED or DENIED! There is a huge difference! The store might be lying to you. Any place that commits one ethical violation is likely to commit others too!

If your record is squeaky clean, go get 'em tiger! If not, find out what needs to happen to fix it (a lawyer might be needed). There are things that can put you on the denied list that you might not be aware of (and it might be state denial, not federal). You need to find these things out, then decide the best course of action.

Please let us know how things proceed for you. A gun store that does that should not be allowed to stay in business.

One other thought, some stores are owned by people who don't run them. This may be a case of the clerk ripping you off, and the owner knowing nothing about it. I suggest you contact the store owner/ guy who holds the FFL, and see if they know, and approve of what's going on.
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Old June 3, 2012, 03:11 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Some places will "sell" guns before the background check is done, because the law allows it. Delivery (not purchase) is what is being denied with the failed check. Its not ethical, but it seems to be legal.
ATF has asked us to complete the purchase prior to calling in the background check.
My guess is to provide law enforcement with more leverage against a prohibited person attempting a firearms purchase.
We are also required to report all denials to the local CLEO.
You'll need to take up the ethics question with the ATF at who's whim we dance.
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Old June 3, 2012, 10:21 PM   #22
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Micro, I hold the dealer blameless if they are following ATF's direction.

I went on a rant for a couple paragraphs, but cooled off, and thought better of posting it.

Somehow, I think that even if the sale is "made" before the background check, denial should result in a refund. Shouldn't it?

Reporting the denial to local LEO (or federal) doesn't seem a terrible thing to me. Might just nail a bad guy. At least, there would have to be an investigation. And that might just clear a guy who got denied due to a clerical error, as much as bust a guy trying to buy illegally. Or so I would think.
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Old June 4, 2012, 08:53 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Somehow, I think that even if the sale is "made" before the background check, denial should result in a refund. Shouldn't it?
Absolutely.

The same situation in our stores would result in a full refund sans a $25.00 incomplete transaction fee + tax + the $5 fee charged by the State of Florida for the background check totaling $31.75.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Reporting the denial to local LEO (or federal) doesn't seem a terrible thing to me. Might just nail a bad guy. At least, there would have to be an investigation. And that might just clear a guy who got denied due to a clerical error, as much as bust a guy trying to buy illegally. Or so I would think.
I believe that is the intent of the requirement.

There is an appeals process for mistaken denials.

The dealer will complete their portion of the appeals form and the denied purchaser will follow the directions on the form.

The denied customer has two weeks to initiate their appeal.
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Last edited by Microgunner; June 4, 2012 at 09:10 AM.
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Old June 4, 2012, 10:28 AM   #24
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Somehow, I think that even if the sale is "made" before the background check, denial should result in a refund. Shouldn't it?
It does. A friend runs a pawn shop in an...interesting part of town. By charging folks first, he can retain a fee ($30 IIRC) and refund the rest when the buyer is denied. Otherwise, they walk without paying. This can be a huge time sink for some dealers, and they deserve some compensation for their time and efforts.

Quote:
Reporting the denial to local LEO (or federal) doesn't seem a terrible thing to me. Might just nail a bad guy. At least, there would have to be an investigation.
Actually, if a person who's prohibited for valid reason attempts to buy a firearm, the NICS center will sometimes notify law enforcement. In cases where it's mistaken identity or bad recordkeeping somewhere, I'd rather not put an innocent person under scrutiny, and should the denial get cleared up, it would sour any potential business relationship with that person.
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Old June 4, 2012, 11:24 AM   #25
heyjoe
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Microgunner if the person appeals and is successful do they get their $25.00 incomplete transaction fee back?

Are they notified that there is a $25.00 incomplete transaction fee before they buy the gun?
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